December Pipeline Spill in North Dakota 3 Times Larger Than Original Estimates

By Yessenia Funes Mar 27, 2017

In December it was reported that an oil pipeline in North Dakota leaked an estimated 176,400 gallons of crude oil. Yet it turns out the correct number is closer to 530,000 gallons—three times more than originally estimated, according to North Dakota Department of Health environmental scientist Bill Seuss.

Seuss spke with The Associated Press this Friday (March 24) on what is now the largest spill in state history. The incident occurred as a result of a slumping hillside, per the AP. The Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, which operated the line, said it is 80 percent done cleaning up the spill. It has not faced any fines so far, as cleanup efforts will determine the amount.  

Seventy-five percent of the oil flowed into the Ash Coulee Creek, North Dakota regulators said on December 13. Seuss confirmed to the AP that none went into the Little Missouri or Missouri rivers, meaning drinking water is believed to be safe.

A landowner discovered the spill on December 5, just 150 miles from where opponents to the Dakota Access Pipeline were camped in protest.

(H/t The Associated Press